Fragmentation of services is a common challenge among state-level workforce development systems, often resulting in inconsistencies in service delivery and a lack of clarity in priorities and vision. Delaware’s publicly funded workforce system encompasses more than a dozen organizations including county- and state-level entities. While its three counties function as a single service area, responsibilities are divided among several major organizations.
To help create a more unified approach to workforce development in the state, the Delaware Department of Labor (DOL) engaged TIP Strategies to prepare a strategic operating framework. The focus of the project was on redesigning the work of the Delaware Workforce Development Board (DWDB) to better align with the state’s economic priorities. The strategic operating framework established a vision and guiding principles, set 5-year goals (including helping residents reach self-sufficiency), and suggested outcome measures. In addition to the framework, the TIP team provided a suite of tools and recommendations for achieving this alignment, including the creation of a tiered high-demand occupation list (that prioritizes occupations aligned with DWDB goals and objectives) and a roadmap for fostering greater employer engagement. As part of the project, the consulting team facilitated three board retreats, conducted multiple stakeholder interviews, and coordinated the work of three teams. The engagement was rounded out by an analysis of occupational and programmatic data, and examination of national best practices.